Introducing 2-Month-Old Chickens into Free-Ranging Flock...PLEASE HELP!


Currently, we have eleven, 2-month-old chickens living in a 4'x8' tractor coop, with a sleeping coop attached on top that is closed up every night. We have another eight, year-old hens that free range, going into a large 12'x12' coop that is closed up every night. Our free-range hens have been hanging out near the tractor coop for the last month, so they are well aware that there are new chickens around.

Can someone please chime in on the best way to finally put all the chickens together in the larger coop? I plan on introducing the two-month-olds at night, but I thought that the new chickens needed to stay in that coop for a week or two so they know where to return to, and I can't figure out how to do that since the older hens are let out every day.

Any help would great be appreciated!



Apr 28, 2015
Boulder, CO

I have some two month old hens that free range. We taught them to go back to the coop by using lighting. Chickens will naturally want to go towards the light when it gets dark out. Do you have lights in the 12 x12?

I have found that they will learn to go in at night little by little. Every girl figured out how to put themselves to bed by day 4. The first 3 days involved some carrying and chasing.

If you don't have lights could you put the two month old chickens in a wire dog kennel or in the chicken tractor within the larger coop?

I have never had to wait two weeks for a bird to get use to a coop. 3 days - 1 weeks has always worked for me with new birds. Especially if you have enough roosts for everyone.

Let me know if I can explain any of my experiences in more detail for you!

- Ailsa
Thanks, Ailsa! I used lights to train the smaller chickens to go in the smaller coop...took two or three days. Putting another smaller coop in the larger coop is an idea...just not sure if I can get it done successfully.

To be honest...I am half tempted to just put the younger chickens in with the older hens one night, let them all walk out the next day...and let the free-ranging begin. My hope is the older hens will lead the way and the younger hens will follow. Using a light again may help the younger hens...thanks for the idea.

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